Vedan wants to return to the basics
WITH about six months left before South Africans take to the polls for the general elections, eThekwini’s youngest councillor aims to “return to the basics”.
This includes ensuring services like grass cutting and road maintenance are done regularly, said 26-year-old human rights lawyer Previn Vedan of Shallcross.
The Chatsworth Ward 71 councillor said he planned to build relations between the largely Indian and black communities in the ward, which comprised Bottlebrush, Shallcross and Moorton.
Last week, the ANC card carrying member won the party’s first seat for Ward 71 during a by-election; defeating the DA’s Fatima Ismail by 469 votes.
He said this showed “the change in tide and the confidence residents had in the ANC and me”.
While he may be a new kid on the political block, Vedan has developed a thick skin, saying that while some have criticised him for being “too young”, he was up for the challenges along the way.
“When people questioned my age and the role I wanted to take on, I understood their concerns. But I am up for the task.”
Vedan, who will be sworn in as a councillor next week, said improving social cohesion, focusing on unemployment and ensuring basic services are delivered were also his priorities.
“I want to assist the elderly, who have issues accessing their social grants, and tenants, who have problems with their body corporates. I am also focused on building relations in the ward.
“During my three-week campaign trail in Bottlebrush, I realised that those living in the informal settlement felt threatened by the residents and vice-versa. I plan to take people from each residential area into the settlement and take people from the settlement to the different areas to build camaraderie.”
While Vedan has been an ANC member since 2014, he said he was hesitant when senior members of the party approached him to stand for the election.
“I only handed in my application a few minutes before the registration closed.”
He was further prompted to register after his mother, Mogie, contemplated relocating due to the crime in the ward.
“I was saddened by this. I thought I needed to do something to restore the community.”
He joked that during the door to door campaigns, former eThekwini Municipality speaker, Logie Naidoo, accompanied him as an ice-breaker.
“People love Logie and they would request selfies before we introduced our campaign.”
His interest in politics, he said, was sparked by his father, Jerald, an attorney and former councillor for the Inner-West City Council.
“At six, I would attend meetings with him and quickly got a sense of the issues people were faced with. I saw how hands on he was when assisting people and I aspired to be like him”
Previn Vedan with his dad, Jerald.